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Trying To “See Beyond”


While witnessing the collective punishment of the Palestinian people on social media after the events of October 7th, 2023; one particular message stood out and resonated deeply with me.

From what I remember, the video was of someone in the rubble filled streets of Gaza who approached a group of men, and then the men were asked if they had anything to say. An elderly man in the middle of the group proceeded to plead into the camera for his humanity and the humanity of his people to be recognized.

One of the things that he said, according to the text translation was something along the lines of, “please set the intention to come visit us.” My mind wouldn’t let go of these words, as I was curious as to how powerful his faith must be to imagine a time when people could freely visit the Gaza strip.

One random night, I felt compelled to write a poem that would imagine a world beyond the current conflict. I titled the poem “See Beyond,” and while typing line after line in the Notes app on my phone, I was giving myself chills as the vision in my mind took on a life of its own.

By the time I was satisfied that the poem was complete, it was well after 3am, but I was far from tired. I was energized from already knowing that I was a part of creating something truly special. I usually like to record myself reciting my poems as the sun rises in the daylight, but I could hardly sleep because of the anticipation of reciting the poem. I eventually calmed down enough to get some rest, motivated by the responsibility of honoring the message of this poem.

The next morning, when the sun was high enough, I decided to go outside on my deck to recite the poem in direct sunlight. It snowed recently so I put on a scarf and jacket instead of my usual sweater or hoodie. And while there were a handful of failed reciting attempts, I remember that it didn’t take me too long to finish recording because of how cold my exposed hands were getting during the whole process.

As I write this blog post, it has been 46 days since I posted the video on TikTok, and it is currently my best performing video with over 294K plays, 117K likes, 2,816 comments, 7,204 shares, and 14K bookmarks.

On Instagram my video has 75K plays, 10K likes, 609 comments, 1,675 shares, and 915 bookmarks.

Meanwhile, my video on my personal Facebook profile got 2 hearts, 2 thumbs up, and 1 comment from my mom. On my MrGlasco.tv Facebook page my video did a little better with 2K plays, 17 reactions, 1 comment, and 9 shares.

Looking at all these numbers helped me to better understand the power of TikTok’s algorithm, and how strangers are more likely to be accepting of my content if the context of the subject matter is controversial.

In the end, I’m just humbled to have been a part of creating this net-positive impact on people looking for light and hope during these dark and challenging times.


See Beyond

When the people of Palestine ask us to set the intention to visit them after they return home, we must see beyond the bloodshed and the rubble. We must see beyond Israel’s Iron Dome.

When I see people like Bisan, Plestia, and Motaz, I see a Palestinian President, Vice President, Secretary of State, and more…

Such as, monuments to all the martyrs, and award ceremonies for the living journalists.

I see golden olive branch medals of honor.

I see prayer during Ramadan, Pass Over, and Christmas.

I see weddings and birthdays on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

I see graduates reciting their own poems during commencement at brand new universities.

I see angels in the sky in the form of white kites echoing Refaat Alareer’s call to live and love.

I see rainbow halos on clouds as a congratulations from God whose grace made space for Humanity to rise above.

I see the tears in everyone’s eyes as they can finally dream beyond what we now call hope.

I see the people of Africa, Turtle Island, and the global majority recognized as the next to rise beyond their limited scope.

So, set the intention to travel the world, not as tourists, but as invited friends, to embrace our brothers and sisters in grief and gratitude that their mass suffering has finally come to an end.

Author: Aladdin Glasco

Aladdin Glasco is a loving father creating content focused on personal development and creativity.